Britain’s most successful female Paralympian speaks to town’s business leaders
Britain’s most successful-ever female Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, has spoken about her excitement at competing in the UCI World Championships in Harrogate, during a visit to the town to address business leaders, organised by her sponsor Leathers.
Dame Sarah, a 14-time gold medalist and one of Team GB’s most heralded cyclists, will be competing in the World Championships in September alongside other members of her team, Storey Racing.
The 12-rider all-female team, which has scored successes around the world since its inception in 2014, will compete in numerous events over the week-long World Championships, with Harrogate chosen as the central location for the prestigious occasion. This will be only the fourth time the UCI World Championships have been held in the UK.
Dame Sarah, fresh from doing a trial run of the 106km para cycling route from Beverley to Harrogate, spoke to key business figures from the town at an event in West Park Hotel, and highlighted the importance of local support to the World Championships.
The event was organised by chartered accountants Leathers, who are a long-standing sponsor and supporter of Storey Racing, with managing partner Michael Leather known for his significant cycling achievements, including completing Le Loop - which follows the exact route of the Tour de France - three times, with the Leathers team raising over £50,000 for charity through their ongoing cycling achievements.
Dame Sarah, who was joined at the event by Team Storey riders Katie Toft and Hannah Dines, said: “Harrogate is a very exciting prospect for me. This is the very first time the para cycling race will take place alongside the World Championships and that is fantastic. Team Storey will be out in force during events across the week, we have a very talented team, the youngest of whom is only 14, and huge potential among us.
“It is the people that make events like this even more special, and I know we are going to get fantastic support in Yorkshire, the support here is always exceptional. Wherever you stand on the course you are going to see something spectacular. This is a unique event and such a great thing for Harrogate to play a central role in. I’m delighted at the lengths the county is going to accommodate it - closing the A19 and A61 is a huge commitment but I’m delighted that such effort and planning has gone into the routes. We are all very excited about returning in September.”
Ryan Harrison, Partner at Leathers, hosted the event, and added: “Dame Sarah is a fantastic ambassador for cycling and sport and wellbeing in general and her achievements are absolutely inspirational. We are delighted and very proud to be a sponsor of Storey Racing and are grateful to her for sharing her story with our many guests at this event. We look forward to welcoming Sarah and her team to Harrogate again for the UCI World Championships, which is going to be a wonderful occasion - and needless to say we at Leathers, with our strong association with cycling, are particularly excited about it.”